Oberland Ski-Mountaineering Traverse

This traverse weaves through some of the most remote and breath taking high mountain scenery in the Alps. It is a classic high level ski touring traverse climbing impressive peaks; Grunegghorn (3500m), Gross Wannenhorn, (3905m), Abeni Flue (3962m), and Kranzberg (3666m).

Level 4 Guiding & Coaching

5 days 6 nights

Prerequisites: Ski Touring Skills (Instructional Course) Or equivalent

Price: £1395*

* Fully inclusive price

 Course Dates

Course Highlights

  • An inspiring ski tour over some of the biggest glaciers in Europe
  • Spectacular views in a remote wilderness surrounded by 4000m peaks
  • High altitude glacier skiing with a big mountain ambience
  • Comfortable modern huts

Oberland Ski 23

This is a ski-mountaineering traverse of the biggest glaciers in Europe, weaving through some of the most remote 4000m peaks in the Alps. Travelling in this area on ski is the most practical way, cutting by half the time it takes to do it on foot in summer. This expedition takes in some of the most breathtaking high mountain scenery in Europe.

The trip involves ascents of superb remote summits, which are climbed mainly on skis but often involve some general mountaineering with ice axe and crampons (as well as roped scrambling) to reach their highest points. It is perfect for the fit, all-round mountaineer with ski-touring experience. This trip loosely connects the West Oberland Haute Route and the Haute Route Soleil. Its highlights include big glacial skiing in a remote and wild environment with the bonus of climbing some great peaks.

Is this course for me?

Ski ability required: This is a very demanding tour at high altitude. Prior ski-touring experience is essential and you should have effective turns off-piste in a variety of snow conditions. A high level of fitness is very important and you should be able to comfortably sustain a climb at a rate of 300 vertical metres an hour. A typical day will involve up to 6 hours of uphill skiing (up to 1400m of ascent).

Sample Programme

Sunday - 6.45pm - the course meets at the Hotel du Glacier in Fiesch (easily reached from Geneva airport (3hrs 10mins). The hotel is a traditional Swiss Hotel situated just below the railway station.

Monday - We take the first lift from Fiesch to the Eggishorn. A long easterly traverse gives us access to some north facing slopes which we ski down to the impressive Grosser Aletschgletscher. From here we skin up to Kondordiaplatz (a massive glacier junction). A 200m (vertical) walk up the steps leads us to the Konkordia hut (2850m, 5hrs). These steps have been built due to the glacier receding and blocking access to the hut. The Konkordia hut is a very comfortable modern hut and has a bar on the terrace. Any spare time can be spent revising Avalanche rescue protocol and transceiver practice.

Tuesday - We continue our journey eastwards to climb to the fore summit of the Grunegghorn (3500m). This sometimes needs a short ski portage to access the summit slopes. The summit gives great views of the Grunhorn (4044m) and the Ewigscheenfald to the north. We ski down retracing our uphill tracks on the south facing slopes and then climb to the Grunhornlucke (3280m, 2hrs). A short ski to the Fieschergletscher (2900m) and climb takes us to the Finsteraarhorn hut (3048m). The Finsteraarhorn hut has been recently rebuilt and is a state of the art Swiss hut boasting single beds and inside toilets.

Wednesday - A big day (1100m of ascent) which starts with an ascent to the Gross Wannenhorn, (3905m, 4hrs to 5hrs). This is the most southerly of the peaks that we will climb and it has great views of the Rhone valley and Wallis. It is a glaciated ski peak and normally gives a good powder descent. Night in the Finsteraarhorn hut.

Thursday - We climb back over Grunhornlucke and descend to the Konkordia Platz. If we have time we shall make a traverse the Kranzberg (3666m, 4hrs). This peak overlooks the Konkordiaplatz and is an excellent peak to take in on the way to the Hollandia hut. The summit is reached on foot up a pleasantly exposed ridge. Our descent to the Grosser Aletsch Firn is very spectacular and this then leads the way to the Hollandia hut (3240m, 5hrs) hut. This hut is situated on the ridge just above the Lotschenlucke (3173m) and has striking views both to the east and west. The impressive north face of the Aletschhorn (4193m) dominates our ascent to the hut.

Friday - This day is a magnificent finale to the trip. We climb the Abeni Flue (3962m, 3hrs), although not technical or steep it offers great glacier skiing and brilliant views to the plains in the north over and the Valais to the south. Descending back to the Hollandia hut and the Lotschenlucke gives us access to another alpine ski classic into the Lotschental. This was one of the last Swiss alpine valleys to be explored and it certainly gives the feel of stepping back in time, with its museum of traditional Swiss chalets on stilts. We return to the hotel in Fiesch by bus and train in time for dinner.

Saturday - Depart after breakfast.

Maps: Jungfrau 264s 1:50 000

Course Dates

Week Start Finish Price  
15 5 Apr 2020 11 Apr 2020 £1395 Full